Monday, October 12, 2009

Open Studios, Weekend Two

Sat, Oct 17th  & Sun, Oct 18th 11am – 6pm:
Over 150 artists opening their studios in Buena Vista, Diamond Heights, Fort Mason, Haight, Hayes Valley, Marina, Mount Davidson, Pacific Heights, Richmond, Sunset, Ocean Beach, Twin Peaks & West Portal neighborhoods

"As the recession drags on and storefronts across New York remain empty, commercial landlords are turning to an unlikely new class of tenants: artists, who in flusher times tend to get pushed out rather than lured in. And the price of entry is not deep pockets, but vivid imaginations and splashy exhibits — anything to lend their darkened buildings a sense of life..."

But that's in New York, not in San Francisco, Rents, even in commercial spaces are as high as ever. Even crappy spaces are still asking for high rent. There's a place on Market St. across from Safeway that I pass almost every day. It's an arrow-shaped building which gets traffic on both sides and the "for rent" sign has been up for over a year. The price is $1750 and the landlord hasn't come down a penny. Rents on 24th Street seem to be in the $2400 range and it's probably just as high around the city. Studio space is equally difficult to find and often, just as expensive.

Well known encaustic artist Joanne Mattera has been writing a series of articles on marketing for artists. This Monday, her blog article is on how art dealers are considering artists. The long and short of is is that they aren't taking on any new artists and that the times are as bad as they have ever been.

"While the Dow has begun to edge up and there seem to be a few more red dots in the galleries, the art world is still reeling from the recession that began 13 months ago. Gallery closings and relocations continue, and many artists who once had representation now do not."

Anna has an article up about another wonderful artist, Kirstine Reiner, at BAAQ. She writes, "Reiner has also recently found a place to live, after spending more than a year sleeping on the couch of a good friend. One needs very good friends indeed in San Francisco, where, despite the collapse of the housing market and the ensuing economic bloodletting, rents are still astronomically high. Bankers on unemployment still have much more money than my friends are likely to have during their entire lifetimes..."

So, when you are making your rounds of the studios next weekend, spare a thought for digging in your pocket and buying something, even if it's a little something. Skip that next happy meal and put a little something into the artist's pocket. Support your local artist and your Karma will be good for ..well, for some time afterward.

Takeshi Nakayoshi
 1933 17th Avenue

Madeline Behrens-Brigham
568 Hayes Street

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